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Perry dances his way to power 

LowDown

Rick Perry has taken quite a tumble since being governor of Texas. He was a twice-failed GOP presidential wannabe and then ended up being a rejected contestant on Dancing with the Stars, the television show for has-been celebrities.

But — resurrection! — having kissed the ring of President-to-Be Trump, Perry is being lifted from the lowly role of disqualified, twinkle-toed TV hoofer to — get this — taking charge of our government's nuclear arsenal!

That's a position that usually requires some scientific knowledge and experience, but as we're learning from other Cabinet nominations, the key qualification that Trump wants his public servants to have is a commitment to serve the private interests of corporate power.

That is why Perry — a devoted practitioner of crony capitalism and a champion of oligarchy — has been rewarded with this position.

As governor of Texas, for example, he went to extraordinary lengths to let the giant Energy Transfer Partners run a pipeline through the ecologically fragile, natural wonders of Big Bend in southwest Texas — ramming it right down the throats of near-unanimous opposition by local residents.

Perry then accepted a whopping$6 million campaign donation — i.e., a "payoff" — from the corporate boss, who later made Perry a paid member of the corporation's board of directors.

He also privatized a state-run, low-level nuclear waste facility, turning it over to Waste Control Specialists, owned by his largest campaign contributor. Then he let the corporation double the amount of waste dumped there, while reducing its legal liability for damages.

Then, taking even more cash from the owner, Perry pushed to let him put high-level nuclear waste in the dump.

Rick Perry has zero expertise or experience for the job of energy secretary, but he has beaucoup of both for "doing a job" on the American people and our environment.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.

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